US6718709B2 - Snap panel display unit - Google Patents

Snap panel display unit Download PDF

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Publication number
US6718709B2
US6718709B2 US10/119,761 US11976102A US6718709B2 US 6718709 B2 US6718709 B2 US 6718709B2 US 11976102 A US11976102 A US 11976102A US 6718709 B2 US6718709 B2 US 6718709B2
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
panels
display unit
plastic
recited
panel sections
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related, expires
Application number
US10/119,761
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US20030192271A1 (en
Inventor
Tim Koutras
Saro Sarkisyan
Veram Badangiz
Paul Edmunds
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
IPT COMPANY LLC
Original Assignee
Tim Koutras
Saro Sarkisyan
Veram Badangiz
Paul Edmunds
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Tim Koutras, Saro Sarkisyan, Veram Badangiz, Paul Edmunds filed Critical Tim Koutras
Priority to US10/119,761 priority Critical patent/US6718709B2/en
Publication of US20030192271A1 publication Critical patent/US20030192271A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US6718709B2 publication Critical patent/US6718709B2/en
Assigned to INDUSTRIAL PLASTICS ENGINEERING, L.L.C. reassignment INDUSTRIAL PLASTICS ENGINEERING, L.L.C. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BADANGIZ, VERAM, EDMUNDS, PAUL, KOUTRAS, TIM, SARKISYAN, SARO
Assigned to IPT COMPANY, LLC reassignment IPT COMPANY, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: INDUSTRIAL PLASTICS ENGINEERING LLC
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current
Adjusted expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F15/00Boards, hoardings, pillars, or like structures for notices, placards, posters, or the like
    • G09F15/0068Modular articulated structures, e.g. stands, and articulation means therefor
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B2/00Walls, e.g. partitions, for buildings; Wall construction with regard to insulation; Connections specially adapted to walls
    • E04B2/74Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination
    • E04B2/7401Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination assembled using panels without a frame or supporting posts, with or without upper or lower edge locating rails
    • E04B2/7405Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination assembled using panels without a frame or supporting posts, with or without upper or lower edge locating rails with free upper edge, e.g. for use as office space dividers
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T403/00Joints and connections
    • Y10T403/34Branched
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T403/00Joints and connections
    • Y10T403/34Branched
    • Y10T403/341Three or more radiating members
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T403/00Joints and connections
    • Y10T403/44Three or more members connected at single locus
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T403/00Joints and connections
    • Y10T403/55Member ends joined by inserted section
    • Y10T403/553Laterally inserted section

Abstract

A light-weight, portable display system which includes plural, hollow, plastic panels having uniquely contoured corners. The panels may be of flat or curved configuration. Most of the plastic panels are fabricated to present smooth front and rear faces. However, some panels are made with at least one slotted face for supporting shelves therein. Straight plastic connector components are designed to accept the corners of the panels, thereby connecting the panels in a manner to form a display area. Hinged plastic connectors are provided so that adjacent panels may be arranged at angles ranging from ninety to one hundred eighty degrees.

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to display systems More specifically, the present invention is drawn to portable, light-weight, display panels which may be easily assembled and disassembled without the use of tools.

2. Description of the Related Art

The portable, knock-down panel systems used for display purposes at trade shows, educational presentations, temporary art exhibits and the like, are for the most part cumbersome to assemble and disassemble. Many are heavy and require more than one person to manipulate. Many require special tools for both assembly and disassembly. Others comprise many parts, which parts must be collected and safely stored. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,001,987 (Coulthard) is drawn to a screen construction applicable to exhibition and display purposes which employs clips that are secured to panels by wood screws. Further, the construction requires the use of upright metal poles for support.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,118,903 (Coulthard) discloses an assembly for forming a partition or screen especially for display purposes. The panels which constitute the partition are connected at their upper edges with hook and loop fasteners. There is no provision for arranging the panels in a stacked array.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,128,286 (Windisch et al.) shows a portable display wall having abutting complimentary panels. Vertical legs and wing nuts must be utilized to support and secure the panels.

Hook and loop fasteners are employed to connect and secure panels in U.S. Pat. No. 4,635,418 (Hobgood). The use of such fasteners is not considered to provide suitable support when the panels are arranged in a stacked array.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,732,757 (Mariol) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,878,802 (Richter et al.) disclose display systems which require a plurality of tubes for support.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,785,565 (Kuffner) employs relatively heavy and costly metal components as connecting members for the panels.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,257,207 (Davis) discloses the use of plastic connectors for panel assembly. It is noted however, that the connectors must be inserted in slots formed at a central area of the panels instead of at the corners.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singularly or in combination, is seen to disclose a display unit as will subsequently be described and claimed in the instant invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is drawn to a light-weight, portable display system. The system comprises plural, hollow, plastic panels having uniquely contoured corners. The panels may be of flat or curved configuration. Most of the plastic panels are fabricated to present smooth front and rear faces. However, some panels are made with at least one slotted face for supporting shelves therein. Straight plastic connector members are designed to accept the corners of the panels, thereby connecting the panels in a manner to form a display area. Hinged plastic connectors are provided so that adjacent panels may be arranged at angles ranging from ninety to one hundred eighty degrees.

As contemplated, the panels can be connected in a vertical array to create a stable display wall as high as ten feet. The panels are reversible since either face of the panel can be utilized as a display area. By employing a combination of planar and curved panels and straight and hinged connectors, a user may construct a display area of configurations limited only by the user's imagination. The panels and connectors may be fabricated in various colors so as to satisfy different aesthetic tastes.

Since no tools are required and the components are fabricated from light-weight plastic, it is evident that the panels of the instant invention can be quickly and easily assembled and disassembled by a single person. Further, the all-plastic fabrication dramatically lowers construction and shipping costs.

Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide an improved display system, which system is completely fabricated from plastic parts.

It is another object of the invention to provide an improved display system, which system can be easily assembled and disassembled by one person.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an improved display system, which system can be assembled and disassembled without the use of tools.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved display system, which system utilizes a unique connector member for snap-fitting the system in an assembled array.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which are inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing their intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a snap panel display unit according to the present invention.

FIGS. 2A-2C are views showing details of the panels and straight connector arrangement according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a partial view of panels and a corner connector according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a curved panel according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Attention is directed to FIG. 1 wherein the snap panel display unit of the instant invention is generally indicated at 10. Display unit 10 comprises an array of individual panels 12, which panels are aligned and stacked to form a display area. Panels 12 are flat, hollow and fabricated from plastic material. As presently contemplated, each panel 12 is a two-foot square although other sizes may function equally as well. The front and rear flat faces of the panels are generally smooth so that material to be displayed may be easily attached thereto. However, some of the panels are provided with at least one slotted face 14. The slots allow shelves or trays to be inserted therein, thereby adding versatility to the type of material that can be displayed on the unit.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2C and 3, a pair of panels 12 is assembled by employing at least one straight locking member 16 or corner locking member 16′. Straight locking member 16 is of a cruciform configuration having mirror image front and rear sections 16 a, 16 b. An open tubular member 16 c functions to attach section 16 a to section 16 b such that a narrow opening 16 d is formed between the sections. The edges 16 e of member 16 are partially curved for purposes as will be explained below. Each corner of a panel 12 is contoured to form a thin, flat insert portion 12 a and a curved profile portion 12 b. Insert portion 12 a is dimensioned to be slightly thicker than the width of opening 16 d. Curved profile portion 12 b is designed to be complimentary with the curve of edge 16 e. This arrangement allows each corner insert portion 12 a of adjacent panels to be snap-fitted into opening 16 d of a connector member, thereby assembling the panels to form a display unit. Since the curved edges of the connectors are complimentary with the curved portions of the panel, an aesthetically pleasing display unit will be presented. Besides functioning as an attachment member, open tubular member 16 c will also allow easy installation of lighting fixtures on the unit. Corner connector 16′ is fabricated exactly as is straight connector 16 with the exception that a hinge 18 is disposed along the central axis thereof. Hinge 18 will allow the panels utilizing the corner connector to be assembled at angles ranging from ninety to one hundred degrees.

FIG. 4 is illustrative of a panel 20 having a curved configuration. Curved panel 20 will utilize the same straight connectors 16 as discussed above. The employment of curved panels will add even more versatility in that a user may employ a combination of flat and curved panels to create unusual display units.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (12)

We claim:
1. A display unit comprising:
a plurality of hollow, plastic panel sections, each of said panel sections having a front face and a rear face;
plural corners formed on each of said panel sections;
plastic connector components attached at said plural corners for interconnecting said panel sections, wherein each of said plural corners includes a flat insert portion having a thickness and a curved profile portion.
2. A display unit as recited in claim 1, wherein each of said plastic connector components includes a first section;
a second section, said second section being a mirror image of said first section and axially spaced from said first section so as to form a narrow opening therebetween;
an open tubular member, said tubular member connecting said first section to said second section; and
curved edges formed on said first section and said second section.
3. A display unit as recited in claim 2, wherein the thickness of said flat insert portion is slightly larger than the width of said narrow opening.
4. A display unit as recited in claim 3, wherein said curved profile portion of said plural corners and said curved edges formed on said first section and said second section are complimentary.
5. A display unit as recited in claim 4, including an axial hinge formed in at least one of said plastic connector components.
6. A display unit as recited in claim 5, wherein said front face and said rear face of each said panel section are smooth.
7. A display unit as recited in claim 5, wherein a portion of said plurality of hollow, plastic panel sections is flat and wherein a portion of said plurality of hollow, plastic panel sections is curved.
8. A display unit as recited in claim 5, wherein at least one of said front face and said rear face is slotted.
9. A display unit as recited in claim 8, wherein a portion of said plurality of hollow, plastic panel sections is flat and wherein a portion of said plurality of hollow, plastic panel sections is curved.
10. A display unit comprising:
a plurality of hollow, plastic panel sections, each panel section having a front face, a rear face;
plural corners formed on each of said panel sections, wherein each of said plural corners includes a flat insert portion having a thickness and a curved profile portion;
plastic connector components attached at said plural corners for interconnecting said panel sections, wherein each of said plastic connector components includes a first section configured as a cruciform;
a second section configured as a cruciform, said second section being a mirror image of said first section and axially spaced from said first section so as to form a narrow opening therebetween;
an open tubular member, said tubular member connecting said first section to said second section; and
curved edges formed on said first section and said second section.
11. A display unit as recited in claim 10, wherein the thickness of said flat insert portion is slightly larger than the width of said narrow opening.
12. A display unit as recited in claim 11, wherein said curved profile portion of said plural corners and said curved edges formed on said first section and said second section are complimentary.
US10/119,761 2002-04-11 2002-04-11 Snap panel display unit Expired - Fee Related US6718709B2 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/119,761 US6718709B2 (en) 2002-04-11 2002-04-11 Snap panel display unit

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/119,761 US6718709B2 (en) 2002-04-11 2002-04-11 Snap panel display unit
PCT/US2003/010818 WO2003087490A1 (en) 2002-04-11 2003-04-09 Snap panel display unit
AU2003221698A AU2003221698A1 (en) 2002-04-11 2003-04-09 Snap panel display unit
CA 2481216 CA2481216C (en) 2002-04-11 2003-04-09 Snap panel display unit

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US20030192271A1 US20030192271A1 (en) 2003-10-16
US6718709B2 true US6718709B2 (en) 2004-04-13

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AU (1) AU2003221698A1 (en)
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CA2481216A1 (en) 2003-10-23
WO2003087490A1 (en) 2003-10-23

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